What Material Is the Violin Made Of?

material-violin-made Credit: Steve Snodgrass/CC-BY-2.0

Generally speaking, the belly, sound post and the bass bar of a violin are made of a softwood, such as spruce, which is chosen for its strength and light weight. The back, ribs, neck, pegbox, scroll and bridge are made from hardwoods, typically maple.

The fingerboard has traditionally been made of ebony, although it is not strange to find it made out of ivory, especially in older instruments. Strings were made of gut in older violins, but preference is shifting to metal, which snaps less frequently. The tailpiece can be constructed out of wood, metal, plastic or carbon fiber. Finally, the bow is usually made of wood and horsehair, although plastic is considered a cheaper alternative to hair.